The Trump Administration has just sentenced thousands of migratory birds to death under the cover of darkness -- and I need your help to save them.
As many of us were enjoying the holidays with our families, the lawyers in the Trump administration and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service were busy reinterpreting federal law to remove vital protections from over 1,000 species protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Under the changes, the administration will no longer prosecute companies whose oil pits, power lines, and wind turbines incidentally kill birds protected under the Act.
These collisions kill millions of birds each year. But eliminating incentives for businesses to reduce bird collisions isn't a solution -- it's a death sentence for millions of birds.
Migratory birds, as a group, are fragile and need all the help they can get. I love birds, I have spent much of my life making field recordings of birdsong. I am appalled at this blatant diregard for these precious animals. But it's not just about my enjoyment of these birds. History has shown us that without protections and interventions, these fragile populations will dwindle and even become extinct.
Oil pits can be covered. Transmission lines and turbines can be sited and designed to reduce bird mortality. Energy companies can -- and should -- reduce the number of birds incidentally killed by their operations. "This will be a disaster, especially for hawks and eagles" said Bruce Palmer, former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service coordinator of the California condor recovery program. "Wind turbines can be over 200 feet tall, and the tips of the blades reach speeds of 200 mile-per-hour—a bird doesn't have a chance."
That's why today I am calling on President Donald Trump to reverse the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's decision and prosecute energy companies whose inaction or negligence result in the death of protected species.
President Trump has overruled his staff before, but we are going to need as many signatures as we can get to convince him to stand up for migratory birds.
So whether you're an avid birder like me, a casual nature enthusiast, or just someone who thinks businesses should reduce the environmental damage their operations cause, we all need to speak up.
You can be a voice for our migratory birds. Please add your name now.